The Humor of Melvin Durai

Humor columns, satire and other funny stuff

Two middle-aged American men, Steve and Ralph, were discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine and all the sanctions that had been imposed on Russia. The United States and its allies had frozen the financial assets of many Russian institutions and individuals. The European Union had blocked Russian planes from entering its airspace. And most stringently of all, the European Broadcasting Union had forbidden Russia from participating in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest.

“Do you think the sanctions will work?” Steve asked.

“No, of course not,” Ralph replied. “That’s why I’m imposing sanctions of my own.”

“Your own sanctions? Tell me more.”

“Well, you know Lyudmila, the Russian woman I was planning to marry? It’s over between us!”

“You’re dumping her?”

“Not just her, but all mail-order brides from Russia! From now on, I’m going to focus on FIT women.”

“Lyudmila is out of shape?”

“No, Lyudmila is in great shape. But I’m going to focus on FIT women. Filipino, Indian and Thai. I sent a press release to CNN and other media outlets, but so far, no reporters have called. They’re too busy reporting on all the government sanctions that they’ve forgotten about individuals doing their part.”

“I can’t believe you’re dumping Lyudmila over Ukraine. She’s so young and beautiful. Show me her pic again.”

Ralph took out his phone, handed it to Steve and said, “Just keep scrolling. I’ve got a dozen pics of her in different outfits and different angles.”

Steve spent a minute scrolling through the photos. “You sure Ukraine is worth it, Ralph?”

“Yes, I’m sure. It’s not just Ukraine—I mean, that’s a big part of it, but we’ve also got a few differences. For example, she wants to have children, but I already have grandchildren. And then there’s the tattoo.”

“The tattoo?”

“Yes, just scroll to the swimsuit pic. If you zoom in, you’ll see some words under her navel. A friend translated it for me, and it says, ‘Vladimir Forever.’”

“Did you ask her about it?”

“Yes, she said it has nothing to do with Putin. She is a fan of the late Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky. But I don’t believe her. Vernadsky died many years before she was born.”

“So it’s over between you and Lyudmila?”

“Yes, it’s over.”

“Well, do you think you could give her my email address?”

“You’re interested in her?”

“No, of course not. I just want to see if she can give me a first-hand account of what’s happening in Russia and how the sanctions are affecting them. Just tell her that you have a friend named Steve who is very interested in Russian affairs.”

“You don’t have to ask Lyudmila about the sanctions. I can tell you all about them. The sanctions are just not strong enough. It’s true that some of them will make it harder for Russians to heat their homes and move their money around. But Russians are used to freezing conditions, whether it’s their assets getting frozen or their asses.”

Steve glanced at the photo again. “Lyudmila certainly has good assets.”

“She has good asses, too. Her parents are farmers.”

“How did you assess her asses?”

“She sent me photos. Keep scrolling.”

“Do you think your sanction will really make a difference?”

“It’s better than nothing. What about you? What are you doing? Are you still drinking Russian vodka?”

“Yes, but since the invasion, I’ve been diluting it more.”

“That’s not good enough. You should switch to Polish vodka. That’s what I’m advising all my clients.”


“Yes, since the invasion, I’ve been offering sanction consultations. I’ll help any organization or person come up with a good sanction. In fact, I wrote an email to FIFA, the governing body of football. As part of its sanction, FIFA has ruled that players from Russia will not be able to compete as ‘Russia,’ but as ‘Football Union of Russia (RFU).’ That’s not good enough for me. They should be forced to compete as ‘Football Union of Country That Invaded Ukraine (FUCTIU).’ They should play with both hands behind their backs, and all their goals should count as only half a goal.”

“Isn’t that a little too much, Ralph?”

“No, Steve, dropping bombs on Ukraine is a little too much.”

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